Through my reading I was reminded of two Scandinavian early-12th century queens whose careers are pretty amazing. Though originally probably unrelated, they became kin by marriage in several ways.
~1085. Margareta Ingesdotter born, daughter of King Inge I of Sweden. (Birth year unrecorded.)
~1100. Ulvhild HÃ¥konsdotter born, daughter of the Norwegian nobleman HÃ¥kon Finnsson of the Thjotta family. (Birth year likewise unrecorded.)
1101. As part of a peace agreement between the Kings of Sweden and Norway, Margareta marries King Magnus III “Barefoot” Olavsson of Norway. Thus her cognomen Fredkulla, “peace wench”.
1105. Margareta marries King Niels Svensson of Denmark. (Magnus having died two years previously).
~1115. Ulvhild marries King Inge II of Sweden, first cousin of Margareta and nephew of Inge I.
1130. Margareta dies. Ulvhild marries King Niels. (Inge II having died c. seven years previously).
1134. Niels dies. Ulvhild marries King Sverker I Cornubesson of Sweden. Ulvhild and Sverker have at least five children over the following years, of whom their son Karl eventually also becomes King of Sweden.
1143. Ulvhild and Sverker support the foundation of Alvastra monastery, one of Scandinavia’s first Cistercian foundations.
1148. Ulvhild dies.
Early Scandy historians tended to describe these women as a kind of prestigious fecund statuary that was traded to and fro among the era’s elite-male lineages. In modern scholarship, they are seen more as political agents in their own right, though the source material for their lives and actions is extremely sparse.
Ulvhild is particularly remarkable as she managed to become queen of Sweden, Denmark and then Sweden again. Her contacts, influence, wealth and experience were in all likelihood instrumental in making Sverker a successful king and the first member of a (not very long-lived) royal dynasty.
One thing that really gets me about these people is how briefly they lived, how little education they had and how young they were when they did the deeds that wrote them into history. Margareta and Ulvhild were younger than many history undergrads when each of them married her second king.